Written by Daniel Navarrette’
Everyone has heard of M.I.A throughout the past few years. From her music video for Born Free, most famously known for blowing up ginger people, creating controversy and being taken down; or the time she flipped off the camera at the Super Bowl and it didn’t get censored in time. She is no newbie to not giving a damn and making her opinion known. Along with the traction from her first three albums before releasing her fourth and most recent album, Matangi, she’s faced some close calls in lawsuits and fallen to plenty of internet criticism and lots of racism and sexist remarks.
Early in July M.I.A announced her ideas and plans for a new album and music videos. Through her Instagram she teased with small clips from these videos and snippets of new music, too. Monday July 13th rolled around as M.I.A released Scroll 01 “Broader Than A Boarder”, part one of a new album titled Matahdatah. She reassured in an interview with Rolling Stone that “There’s 10 more of these countries coming and I haven’t chased where to go yet, so who knows where this project will take me.”
The response to the video and the new song Swords featured in it has been mixed with the usual trolling, but also followed by lots of humble comments from fans. Before the video release she had claimed it wouldn’t be released due to the problem of “cultural appropriation”. She asked on twitter if what she was doing was indeed appropriation, something plenty of artists never do. The video also features Warriors, a track off of Matangi that she said has been in the works for a while now. She’s been promoting this idea of “Boarders” in the past few weeks, posting a photo to Instagram showing a world map with illustrated boarders in the world.
M.I.A has talked about things like this for years as well, like in World Town off of her second album Kala where she sings Hands up! Guns out! Represent the world town!”. Talking of bringing an end to the violence and creating a world community. Her creativity and D.I.Y style in projecting her messages out there has drawn lots of attention. Despite being called a “terrorist” by people, some even as big as Oprah Winfrey, she fights back with heavy beats and experimental sound. She’s always brought her life experiences ,like growing up in Sri Lanka in the middle of the war and having her father joining the Tamil Independence movement, to what she has to say.
You can listen to new song Swords on youtube, apple music, and spotify. Watch out for more to come off of Matahdatah as M.I.A is not hesitant to piss people off and continue to be the voice of a generation. She has begun work on Scroll 02, no set location for the next video or hint at the sound of the next track. We await patiently and happily as M.I.A continues to make art, don’t sleep on this fiery, strong woman.